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Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Semi-Arid Irrigated Cropping Systems

Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Lab, USDA-ARS, Kimberly, ID 83341, USA
Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Ornella Francioso
Agronomy 2021, 11(3), 484;
Received: 19 January 2021 / Revised: 24 February 2021 / Accepted: 25 February 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Soil Organic Carbon for Soil Health in Agroecosystems)
Insufficient characterization of soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics in semi-arid climates contributes uncertainty to SOC sequestration estimates. This study estimated changes in SOC (0–30 cm depth) due to variations in manure management, tillage regime, winter cover crop, and crop rotation in southern Idaho (USA). Empirical data were used to drive the Denitrification Decomposition (DNDC) model in a “default” and calibrated capacity and forecast SOC levels until 2050. Empirical data indicates: (i) no effect (p = 0.51) of winter triticale on SOC after 3 years; (ii) SOC accumulation (0.6 ± 0.5 Mg ha–1 year–1) under a rotation of corn-barley-alfalfax3 and no change (p = 0.905) in a rotation of wheat-potato-barley-sugarbeet; (iii) manure applied annually at rate 1X is not significantly different (p = 0.75) from biennial application at rate 2X; and (iv) no significant effect of manure application timing (p = 0.41, fall vs. spring). The DNDC model simulated empirical SOC and biomass C measurements adequately in a default capacity, yet specific issues were encountered. By 2050, model forecasting suggested: (i) triticale cover resulted in SOC accrual (0.05–0.27 Mg ha–1 year–1); (ii) when manure is applied, conventional tillage regimes are favored; and (iii) manure applied treatments accrue SOC suggesting a quadratic relationship (all R2 > 0.85 and all p < 0.0001), yet saturation behavior was not realized when extending the simulation to 2100. It is possible that under very large C inputs that C sequestration is favored by DNDC which may influence “NetZero” C initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil organic carbon; DNDC; semi-arid; dairy manure; Idaho soil organic carbon; DNDC; semi-arid; dairy manure; Idaho
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bierer, A.M.; Leytem, A.B.; Dungan, R.S.; Moore, A.D.; Bjorneberg, D.L. Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Semi-Arid Irrigated Cropping Systems. Agronomy 2021, 11, 484.

AMA Style

Bierer AM, Leytem AB, Dungan RS, Moore AD, Bjorneberg DL. Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Semi-Arid Irrigated Cropping Systems. Agronomy. 2021; 11(3):484.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bierer, Andrew M., April B. Leytem, Robert S. Dungan, Amber D. Moore, and David L. Bjorneberg. 2021. "Soil Organic Carbon Dynamics in Semi-Arid Irrigated Cropping Systems" Agronomy 11, no. 3: 484.

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